By Bob Monio, Commercial Product Management Director, Kofax
Back office functions such as Accounts Payable (AP) today too want anytime, anywhere access to information, similar to end customers. AP teams want insights into transactions to better control the invoice processing (payment) cycle. They expect that everything they do should be able to be handled at the device level – including approving or denying any type of AP transaction. From a management perspective, finance and accounting wants to be able to validate and inspect business metrics from their device, too. But, it’s not just a desire for anytime, anywhere access internally within an organisation – AP teams also want their suppliers and vendors to engage and monitor transactions and their information through self-service supplier portals. Vendors and suppliers want the convenience and transparency a self-service portal brings, as well.
How can all this be achieved? AP automation in the cloud! According to IDC, the split between on-premises/other software and public cloud software is expected to change from 65.9% and 34.1% in 2017 to 50.5% and 49.5% in 2022, as the demand for cloud-based financial applications software continues to outpace that for on-premises/other software solutions. Some of the drivers for this rush to the cloud, are exactly that: Speed. Faster implementation. Faster ROI. But also, the lower cost of entry (subscription-based), scalability to adapt to requirements, less dependence on IT, 24/7 availability and of course mobile access.
In addition to the above-mentioned strategic advantages, cloud-based AP automation can deliver benefits such as less reliance on IT, easier e-invoicing implementation, greater transparency and mobility, integration with any ERP and more.
Everyone has come to expect the level of automation, transparency and convenience that the cloud provides and the ability to do business anytime, anywhere on a mobile device. AP solution vendors must meet customer demand in the cloud. In the cloud abilities like scaling, monitoring and provisioning, and security are improved. Enterprises should assure that vendors can meet the solution and scope they want – rapid deployment and near turnkey implementation for one end of the market or extremely configurable and customisable for the other end.